Singleness & the Kingdom of God: Friendship & the Kingdom of God (09.23.19)
Opening Prayer of Examen
Shifting your focus to today’s time of seeking God and practicing the way of Jesus, spend 5-10 minutes prayerfully examining your own heart and feelings on the following:
- Ask God: how have you shown yourself to be a friend to me?
- What are my thoughts, feelings, and experiences about friendship?
- In what new ways might God want to lead me into a greater capacity for friendship?
After reflecting and praying, allow room for a few people in your group to share anything that stood out or surprised them about their time of prayer.
Respond to Sunday’s Teaching
Read John 15:9-17 and then reflect on this Sunday’s teaching, especially these key takeaways:
- Friendship is not a consolation prize — not “just” friendship. Friendship matters in the Kingdom of God, and God’s Kingdom needs to be central in our relational lives.
- Jesus’ foundation for friendship is to love others as Christ loves us. This is agape love, the highest love involving self sacrifice for the good of another.
- Love partners in ministry in order to bear fruit. We are invited into a tribe with a greater, unified purpose: the Kingdom of God.
- We must actively choose each other as friends, even when we are not chosen.
- We are made with limited capacity for social connection. Research says, 150 friendly acquittances, 15 medium-level friends, and 5 very intimate friends.
- Romans 12:5 – We all belong to each other, which translates to consistent and mutual love and access.
- Friends are a gift from God to us, even if they sometimes disappoint us. Jesus had terrible friends (denial and betrayal even) and still called them His own.
Discuss as a group:
- Who are your closest friends, to whom you’re most intimately connected? What qualities in those friendships set them apart?
- What in your life leads you to de-prioritize friendship?
- If you could ask Jesus anything you wanted about friendship, what would you ask? How does Scripture speak to these questions?
Intercede in prayer for one another, for those in your lives you know who need prayer, and for God’s will to be done in our city.